We really have no idea how powerful we are. We tend to see ourselves as tiny individuals in an enormous world, doing our best to sway the tides that come between us and our fulfillment. But there is a truth that can change this perception, destroy the feeling of victimhood and bring true freedom:

What you focus on grows.

Our focus creates our reality. If we are focused on what is wrong in our lives and our worlds, what are we going to see? What’s wrong. But if we are focused on the things we love, the things that inspire us and fill us with joy, we start to see the beauty we were so blind to before. You can transform your experience of life in an instant, just by choosing to focus inwards. Just by bringing your attention deep into yourself, instead of getting caught up in the dramas and worries of the world around, you can break lifelong patterns of discontent and preoccupation.

So if it’s so simple, why don’t we do it? I know why: because we don’t want to. We don’t want to be happy: we’d prefer to fight for what we think should be fixed. We don’t want to surrender: we want to win. We don’t want to embrace our reality: we want to chase our ideas of how things should be, instead of accepting them as they are. Why? because we are convinced we know best how our lives should be. The truth is, our idea of the perfect world has been forged by the opinions of so many, by the fears and insecurities caused by so many life experiences, that it is not really our idea at all.

Children don’t do this. They embrace what they have without question. When I lived on the Colombian coast, the local boys would play football barefoot with coconuts. They weren’t moping around thinking, If only I had some Nike runners! then I could play much better. If only we had a real ball instead of this coconut! They don’t think like that: they are having so much fun as it is, enjoying what they have.

I am not denying the importance of working towards a better world. I admire any activity that helps unite humanity and improve the quality of life on this planet. But if we are focused on what’s wrong, even with the intention of making it right, we are perpetuating discontent and inconformity. Let’s focus on what we have achieved, on the wonderful, incredible world we live in and the passionate and inspired individuals who are giving their best to humanity every day. Let’s focus on what we can give: on the ways we can lead more joyful, fulfilling lives. Let’s focus on being fully present, on knowing ourselves, accepting ourselves, embracing ourselves. Then naturally we will share that love with those around us.

What are you focused on right now? On the frustrations of the past, or the worries of the future? Why don’t you try, just for today, to focus on enjoying each moment? On giving the best you can in each situation that is presented to you?

Give it a try. Discover the power of focus, and in doing so, take responsibility for your own happiness.

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